Nexus PMG welcomes you to the Bigger Than Us™ podcast, which we, as energy geeks lovingly refer to as the BTU. Bigger Than Us is a podcast that focuses on ideas that will shape the future of our planet and ultimately, our existence. We will occasionally lean into energy topics because after all, it’s the key to our collective survival, but we’ll also explore other areas that we believe will have an effect that is Bigger Than Us.
#143 Steve Schmida, Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Resonance Consulting
Steve Schmida is the Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Resonance, an award-winning global development and corporate sustainability consulting firm with more than 100 consultants and offices in Vermont, Washington, D.C., Seattle, and Manila. Resonance clients include Fortune 500 companies, international donor agencies, and leading nonprofits and foundations.
His writings have appeared in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Medium.com, The Huffington Post, and The Moscow Times. Connect with him on LinkedIn.
#142 Marc Conte, Associate Professor of Economics at Fordham University
Marc Conte is an Associate Professor in the Economics Department at Fordham University and a faculty research fellow at New York University, and a recent Visiting Associate Professor at the Yale School of the Environment. As an environmental economist, his research pursuits often explore how market prices fail to accurately reflect the impacts of market actions on the environment (and the resultant implications for society) and how market interventions can be used to achieve more desirable environmental and social outcomes. Prior to his arrival at Fordham, he was a post-doctoral research fellow at Stanford University, where he was a key contributor to the Natural Capital Project. Marc earned his Ph.D. at the Bren School at UCSB, as a trainee in the NSF-funded IGERT Economics and Environmental Sciences program.
Marc developed an interest in the environment at a young age, thanks to time spent outdoors with his family, notably exploring the ponds and beaches of Cape Cod. He developed an academic interest in economics and ecology while an undergraduate at Dartmouth College. He continues to be an active hiker and is an enthusiastic amateur birder, whose 2020 highlights include a Lapland Longspur, Snow Buntings, and a Snowy Owl (the first in Central Park since 1890!).
#141 Juan Verde, Policy Expert and Corporate Strategist Advocate for the Green Economy
Juan Verde is an internationally renowned strategist for both the public and private sectors, with a particular focus on sustainable economic development. His specialty is designing innovative strategies to attract investment, accelerate economic development, and support strategic alliances.
In the public sector, Mr. Verde served as Deputy assistant secretary for Europe and Eurasia at the United States Department of Commerce under President Barack Obama. In this capacity, Mr.Verde led the Department’s efforts to solve trade policy and market-access issues faced by U.S. firms seeking to grow their business operations in Europe and Eurasia. Additionally, he was responsible for developing and recommending policies and programs to support U.S. economic and commercial relations with52 countries in the region. Mr. Verde previously served in theDepartment of Commerce during the Clinton Administration as an international trade analyst, coordinator, and consultant, working first in the Office of Latin America and later in the MinorityBusiness Development Agency.
In the private sector, Mr.Verdehas served as a consultant for a variety of prestigious companies, such as Google, Cisco, SAS, American Express, and Banco Santander Investments US. He has also collaborated with institutions such as the Inter-American Development Bank, Harvard UniversityKennedy School, and the world bank. He founded and led the Canary Islands and Gibraltar chapters of the American Chamber of Commerce, and is a current member of the Board of Directors oftheAmericanSustainableBusiness Council, the leading business organization in the U.S. serving the public policy interests of sustainable, responsible companies, their customers, and other stakeholders.
#140 Catherine Von Burg, CEO of SimpliPhi Power
Catherine Von Burg’s career spans a diverse portfolio of strategic planning, policy development, executive management, and multidisciplinary team building in renewable energy, biomedical engineering and research, health and human services, environmental conservation, and education. A member of the California Solar and Storage Association (CALSSA) board of directors, Catherine was selected for an exclusive entrepreneurship program hosted by the U.S. Department of State and the Unreasonable Group. As CEO of SimpliPhi Power, she has recently been honored as part of the Meaningful Business 100 and was selected as a Global Power & Energy Elite in 2021, among many other awards. She speaks publicly, has published articles and white papers, and has spearheaded policy initiatives with organizations including CALSSA, Pew Charitable Trusts, Rockefeller Institute, Columbia University, NY March of Dimes Foundation, John Hopkins School of Biomedical Engineering, Wilderness Education Association and First 5 Commission of California.
#139 Skye d’Almeida, Senior Vice President in Macquarie’s Green Investment Group
Skye d’Almeida is a Senior Vice President in Macquarie’s Green Investment Group, where she leads investor coverage for the Americas. Skye has spent the last 13 years working in sustainable infrastructure and energy for private, government and non-profit organizations. In her role at Macquarie, Skye manages relationships with pension funds, infrastructure funds, private equity funds and strategic investors looking to acquire green assets developed by the Green Investment Group. In prior roles, she co-created a sustainable infrastructure investment program for some of the world’s largest cities and worked for the Australian Government on international clean energy negotiations and renewables investment incentive programs.
#138 Dr. Graciela Chichilnisky, Co-Founder and CEO of Global Thermostat
Dr. Graciela Chichilnisky is the co-founder and CEO of Global Thermostat, and co-creator of a carbon removal technology that can reverse climate change. Under Dr. Chichilnisky’s leadership, the company was awarded a Silver designation on Pepperdine Graziadio Business School’s 2020 Most Fundable Companies List, and its technology was chosen by MIT Technology Review as one of the Ten Breakthrough Technologies of 2019, a list curated by Bill Gates.
In addition to her role at Global Thermostat, Dr. Chichilnisky is a Professor of Economics and Mathematical Statistics at Columbia University, and Director of the Columbia Consortium for Risk Management.
Dr. Chichilnisky acted as the lead U.S. author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which received the 2007 Nobel Prize for its work in deciding world policy with respect to climate change, and she worked extensively on the Kyoto Protocol, creating and designing the carbon market that became international law in 2005.
Dr. Chichilnisky is the author of more than 300 scientific articles and more than 15 books, including the recently published Reversing Climate Change and the award-winning Saving Kyoto, which won the American Library Association’s 2010 Outstanding Academic Title of the Year and the American Geographical Society’s Book of the Month Award in October 2009. She holds two Ph.D. degrees, in Mathematics and Economics, and her graduate studies were at MIT and the University of California, Berkeley.
Rare to find such an entertaining and informative podcast like Bigger Than Us. Discovered it last week and loved the interview. Can’t wait to listen to future episodes!
This podcast always features great content from a wonderful variety of thought leaders, and Raj hosts the conversation excellently!
Great guests and interesting topics
I find this podcast to be very engaging. Topics are very timely as I am interested in sustainable living. Guests are knowledgeable in their respective area and Raj does a great job of letting them speak without undue interference. I do have hard time keeping up with the frequency of new episodes. But that’s a nice problem to have.